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The first DB of DBU (Brockway feature on Steve Tannen)

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by gatorjjh, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude VIP Member

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    The first DB of DBU
    Former UF All-American Tannen living a charmed, colorful life
    By Kevin Brockway - Gvl Sun

    Nearing 70, former Florida standout Steve Tannen can weave stories ranging from blocking a punt in the Gator Bowl to hanging out with Joe Namath to being on the set of the A-Team with George Peppard and Mr. T.

    Tannen, who returned to Gainesville to retire in 2012, is still living a colorful life, back where he starred as a defensive back at Florida under Ray Graves from 1967-69. Before there was Vernon Hargreaves, before Quincy Wilson and Joe Haden and even Lito Sheppard, there was Tannen, one of the first great defensive backs in Florida history.

    In three years on the varsity (freshmen were only allowed to play on the scout team in the 1960s), Tannen had 11 career interceptions, was an All-SEC first-team selection in 1968, and in 1969 earned first-team All-American honors. In 1969, Tannen helped lead UF to a 9-1-1 record, the best in school history to that point. In his final college game, Tannen blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in UF’s 14-13 upset of Tennessee in the 1969 Gator Bowl.

    read the rest at: The first DB of DBU - GatorSports.com
     
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  2. swampbabe

    swampbabe GC Hall of Fame

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    Steve Tannen attended the same high school that I did. I’m ten years his junior and I still remember his name ALL OVER the record boards in the gym. Might still be there for all I know.
     
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  3. shelbygt350

    shelbygt350 GC Hall of Fame

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    I believe it was vs vandy that he returned a punt for a td and also blocked a punt in that game. I always put him down as best CB ever at UF. He had all the tools- size, speed, agility, cover skills, etc.
     
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  4. Claygator

    Claygator GC Hall of Fame

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    My dad is an avid Gator, and I remember many a discussion in the '60's after church about Steve Tannen and the Gators. He is a Great Gator.
     
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  5. GatorDoc74

    GatorDoc74 Premium Member

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    I was at Florida back then. Tannen was an excellent DB. Getting 11 career interceptions in an era when Gator opponents only threw 10 to 15 passes per game is still impressive.

    But the thing I remember most about Tannen had to do with baseball. I went to watch the Gators play Ole Miss, and Tannen was there, not as a player but as a spectator. Archie Manning was playing for Ole Miss (3rd base) and Tannen was in the stands riding him unmercifully. He talked smack to Archie the entire game, non- stop, and at that time the stands were very close to the field so Archie was only about 30 feet away. Manning was trying to ignore it, but you could tell Tannen was getting into his head.

    So that was a indication of Tannen’s competitiveness. He was “playing football” even when his “opponent” was playing baseball. Classic.
     
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  6. wingtee

    wingtee GC Hall of Fame

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    Hope that didn’t impress you. For a guy of Tannen’s stature that was disappointing to read.Manning was a pretty damn good player . In both sports. Plus he was a class act.
     
  7. GatorDoc74

    GatorDoc74 Premium Member

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    “Impressed” wasn’t the term I had in mind. More like “amused”.

    Yes, Manning was a class act, and a great athlete in both sports. But football players talk trash. And remember this was a QB-DB dynamic. I was just ammused that Tannen took the trash talking to the baseball diamond as well.
     
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  8. og8trz

    og8trz VIP Member

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    Bruce Bennett preceded Steve & held UF’s career INT. record until it was broken in the Spurrier era by Fred Weary.

    He was an AA & played in the CFL.

    Let’s not forget him & other old Gator great DBs
     
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  9. malscott

    malscott Premium Member

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    Tannen story:

    I was in a production at the Hippodrome called : The Saint and the Football Player. It was directed by Lee Breuer this guy that was famous for Shakespeare in the Park in NY. Tannen was the lead actor. Anyway, we wore full pads and actually hit each other during the show-mostly just line drills. So we went to a park one day, a little method acting practice. I did a cut-block on Tannen, he was either rolling out to pass or running a route... he got so pissed off he picked me up by one leg and an arm and spun me around and winged me almost into a tree. I just did what you see guys do all the time now, they just dive in front of you. He was so freaking pissed-OMG! I think I cried (not acting) and we eventually made up.

    Note to self...Don't mess with an NFL football player when you are 5'5" tall and 140lbs. Bad things happen:eek::confused:o_O

    Go Gators.:D
     
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  10. gatorjjh

    gatorjjh A Gator with a Glass half full attitude VIP Member

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    neat story,the Hipp back then was a little different from what it has grown into....
    start up to stardom
     
  11. RayGator

    RayGator Moderator VIP Member

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    And Steve Tannen was a great football player at my Alma Mater! Southwest Miami Senior High School! An Eagle! He had a great Jewish family. We had a large number of Jewish students back in the ‘60s. So every year the band I was in and the school choir had a wonderful concert in December. 30 minutes was about Christmas and 30 minutes was about Hanukkah.

    Steve Tannen (American football) - Wikipedia
     
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  12. rzinger

    rzinger Junior

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    I too enjoyed watching him play, a great talent. He clearly had a mean streak that did not always work out well for the team. I certainly don't remember which game it was, but he had 10 yards to change his mind and went ahead and blew up a fair catch for a penalty.
     
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  13. cocodrilo

    cocodrilo GC Hall of Fame

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    I ran into Tannen in his playing days in a bar on University Ave (I think it was called Fred's, anyway the owner was Fred) that had a pool table. Tannen and some others were shooting pool, and I was allowed to enter the game. I made a good shot right off the bat (though I was only middling at pool), and I heard Tannen say quietly to the others (not in a pleasant tone), "We may have a pool shark here." It gave me visions of Paul Newman with two broken thumbs in The Hustler.
     
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  14. pcg8r

    pcg8r Junior

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    If I remember correctly, when the GATORS played the semis Tannen hit Sellers on every play whether he was involved or not. At the end of the game I'm not sure if Sellers knew which sideline to go to!
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
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